Hatch: Environmental movement has ‘stupidest people’

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said California’s drought is being caused by some of the “stupidest people” because they’re trying to protect the delta smelt.

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“Some want to put the needs of fish ahead of the needs of people,” Hatch said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “I think we have some of the stupidest people in the environmental movement.”

Hatch said he’d support a bill from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that aims to provide relief for her state's drought problems but that he thinks an amendment from Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) should be added.

He said Barrasso’s amendment would allow localities to balance species protections with protections for California’s farm industry.

Hatch said the drought was man made because the flow of water is being controlled to protect a species of fish. He said this was a “stupid approach” because it has harmed California’s economy.